6. We have a part to play.
I missed what Jesus meant, when he said Ask and it shall be given you, because I had a wrong picture of how prayer works. I imagined prayer as a one sided transaction, kind of like, asking your boss for a raise, or a promotion. You make your request and then wait to find out what the boss’s decision is. That’s how most of us picture prayer, we make our request and then it’s completely in God’s hands, we sit back and wait for God to do His God stuff. Since we imagine that God’s “Yes,” is the only obstacle to our prayer being answered, our entire prayer effort is focused on getting God’s Yes. We dream up all manner of schemes for getting God to Yes. We try begging, or crying, or bargaining, or asking a million people to pray with us. We try asking over and over and over and over and over again, in hopes of getting God to Yes.
But it turns out that’s not how it works. Jesus has let us know what God’s answer will be, he’s already told us that when we ask it will be given to us, so prayer is not all about getting God to, Yes, God’s already on Yes, God wants to answer our prayers.
God’s not the hang up.
You can see the point a little more clearly in the Epistle of James